Journalists using laptops and iPads at the European Parliament

It's not hard to spot instances of state-sponsored hacking against dissidents and terrorism suspects, but it now appears that these attacks frequently target the press -- and more often than you see in the news. Google security engineers report that 21 of the top 25 media outlets worldwide have faced some kind of government-backed hacking attempt, with many of them flying under the radar. In Vietnam, for instance, attackers have tried to discourage coverage of human rights issues by tricking journalists into compromising their PCs. Google argues that awareness is the solution. The more press organizations recognize the online threat, the better they can lock things down and make sure their stories get heard.

[Image credit: European Union 2012 - European Parliament, Flickr]

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State-sponsored hackers are attacking news outlets on a massive scale